Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do Republicans finally grow a pair?

“The Democrat bill won't stimulate anything but more government and more debt”

Now that tax-and-spend President George W. Bush has finally retired to Crawford Texas, the remaining Republicans in Washington appear to (maybe, sort of) have gotten the message and intend to oppose the massive spending bill proposed by the Democrats on Capitol Hill. Here’s Chairman of the Republican Conference, Representative Mike Pence of Indiana:
"The Democrat bill won't stimulate anything but more government and more debt. The slow and wasteful spending in the House Democrat bill is a disservice to millions of Americans who want to see this Congress take immediate action to get this economy moving again."
Maybe the massive defeats suffered by Republicans in 2006 and 2008 caused their testicles finally to drop and generate some testosterone. We can only hope.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vote COAST for Best of Cincinnati!

COAST is nominated in 2 categories for CityBeat's annual Best of Cincinnati awards.

Please click here before March 1, 2009 to Vote, and type your email address in the top blank.

Local Activist, Select "Christopher Smitherman"
Local Elected Official, Select "City Councilman Chris Monzel"
Scandal, Select "NURFC Botches Inauguration"
Web Site, Select ""
Blog, Select ""

Use of Public Funds, Select "Have yet to see one!"

Scroll to the bottom and click "Submit your vote"
Thanks for supporting COAST!

Expand Our Network

We're looking for your ideas and expertise . . . Twitter, Facebook, YouTube . . . Join the newly formed Creativity/Tech committee for its first meeting.

This group was a direct result from feedback at the January member meetings.

We are looking for people passionate about the cause and willing to think outside the box to reach out and inspire our members and the community.

Monday, February 16, 2009
6:15pm - 8:00pm

Hyde Park Office of Finny, Stagnaro, Saba & Patterson
2623 Erie Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45208
Phone: 513-533-2996

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tax Reduction Seminars Are a Hit !

Three new dates added.

COAST attorneys have been holding a series of free property tax reduction seminars to train homeowners and commercial property owners how they can successfully challenge their property tax valuations reflected on their January 2009 bills from the County Treasurer. Those seminars were each completely "sold out," with more than 60 persons attending each class.

As a result, three new, free classes have been added, and they are filling up quickly as well.
Monday, January 26, 6 - 7:30 PM
Home Builders Association
415 Glensprings Drive
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246

Wednesday, January 28, 6 - 7:30 PM
Home Builders Association
415 Glensprings Drive
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246

Tuesday, February 3, 6 - 7:30 PM
Anderson Center
7850 Five Mile Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45230

RSVP to Gretchen Stevenson at RSVP or call 513-533-2730.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

NURFC Botches Obama Inauguration

A packed house gathered in the 300 seat theater of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (NURFC) to view the historic inauguration of President Barak Obama. For many it was the culmination of a dream that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared with millions in his famous speach on the National Mall in Washington, DC in 1963, and in a BBC interview where he predicted a black president "within 40 years".

But just as that dream was about to come true, the NURFC had technical trouble with its internet feed. They had no alternate source lined up, and told the crowd to go somewhere else to witness the momentous occasion.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

-Langston Hughes

The few who stuck around wound up gathered around a small screen on the third floor, craning for a glimpse. "They didn't use TVs because it would have required 250 feet of cable wire and more manpower than they have," said a Cincinnati Enquirer reporter who was blogging the event.

The NURFC laid off 17 of its 64 staff in December for budgetary reasons. So presumably it's the taxpayers' fault for failing to fund the NURFC as lavishly as they'd like.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

COAST Endorses Trolley Petition Drive

Effort prevents streetcars without a public vote.

COAST has joined Christopher Smitherman and the NAACP in their drive to stop Council’s planned $120 million trolley plan serving only downtown, Over-the-Rhine and Clifton with a petition drive for a charter amendment. The Charter Amendment will prevent Council from spending monies on passenger rail transportation without a public vote. The Business Courier covered the NAACP effort here.

Mark Miller becomes the first COAST signer of the
petition to stop the wasteful trolley proposal.

Over-priced and inefficient passenger rail transportation will be a bottomless pit of tax dollars,” said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd. “We are proud to once again join the NAACP in stopping foolish policies of our local government officials.

The trolley charter amendment is the fourth proposal of the WeDemandAVote.Com coalition in three years. Two other proposals, the jail tax referendum and a charter amendment banning red light cameras, passed with COAST help in 2007 and 2008.

COAST Holds Three Membership Meetings

Please join us and bring a friend.

COAST is hosting a series of membership meetings in Janaury and February to bring the message of limited government and lower taxes to all corners of Southwest Ohio. The schedule is as follows:

Please join us, and bring a friend, to one or more of these events:

The east side event will be held on
Monday, January 19, 2009
Molly Malone's Irish Pub
6111 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH 45213

The west side event will be held on
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
6:30 pm
Babe's Café
3389 Glenmore Avenue, Cheviot, OH 45211

The North COAST event will be held on
Monday, February 2, 2009
6:30 pm
Village Heritage Green Clubhouse
9475 Old Village Drive, Loveland, OH 45140

Owners Slammed by Huge Property Tax Bills

Rising rate and assessments combine for double whammy.
Property owners throughout southwest Ohio are experiencing sticker shock upon opening their latest property tax bills. The dramatic increase in property tax bills is attributable to both an increase in property valuations and an increase in tax rates. A chart showing the increase in commercial property tax rates in the Cincinnati Public School District is below.

This graph shows the growth in commercial/industrial property tax rates in Hamilton County/Cincinnati Public School District over 25 years, from a rate of 49 mills to more than 76 today. If these trends hold for the coming 25 years, our children will pay tax rates of more than 92 mills in 2034.
Overall, Hamilton County experienced an increase in property values for both residential and commercial property. Some areas experienced dramatic increases. For example, Auditor assessments in Oakley increased by 16 to 17 percent. At the same time, many areas of the County experienced significant increases in rates of taxation. Property tax rates in the Cincinnati Public School District went up a total of 14%, despite significantly reduced enrollment. This is due to the massive CPS tax increase that passed in March.

The combined effect of these two factors meant, for example, that many Oakley property owners experienced increases of more than 30% from their prior tax bills.

COAST attorneys are hosting a series of property tax reduction seminars in January and February. Details are here.

Bortz Opposes Bloated City Budget

Editorial hits Council democrats for wasteful spending.

In a bizarre procedural move, Cincinnati City Council passed its 2009 budget in December, and then later passed a second budget adding $917,000 in surprise spending without any public input or debate. Councilmember Bortz criticized liberal Council members for the wasteful, backdoor spending maneuver in this Enquirer guest editorial.

According to Bortz, “[t]he added spending was, in part, for more money for council and mayor staff; a neighborhood garden program; a raise for city workers; and new staff to advocate for cutting meat consumption, cold-water washing and air-drying of dishes - all paid for by increasing parking fines in our business districts and tapping the city's emergency reserves.”

The Enquirer later hammered the wasteful office spending here.

Freedom Center Again Reports Bloated Executive Salaries

Lays off 17 in December

In November, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center released its 2007 federal income tax return showing that its top two executives earned salary and benefits of more than $546,842 in 2007. Less than a month later, the NURFC, facing a 28% budget shortfall, laid off 17 of its 64 full-time employees. Read the Business Courier story of the layoffs here.

According to the tax return, its CEO Donald Murphy earned $282,720 in salary and benefits in 2007, an increase of 4% over his $272,000 package in 2006. Its President, Spencer Crew, who left the employ of the NURFC in 2007, raked in $264,122. You may view the NURFC 2007 income tax return here.

COAST reported here that, according to those same tax returns, attendance revenue for all of 2007 was only $735,125. The Business Courier reports that the NURFC’s 2009 operating budget is $5.8 million.

COAST takes Red Light Camera fight to Toledo

57 Toledoans show for initial organizing meeting

Last Monday, COAST Board member and legal counsel Chris Finney traveled to Toledo to bring petitions banning red light cameras to this northern Ohio City. COAST will be joined in the effort by representatives from the Republican Party, the Libertarian Party, and Americans for Prosperity – Ohio.

The Toledo Blade took note of the meeting here. Later, they blasted the COAST initiative here. COAST wears their scorn with pride, and as an indication it is on the right track. The Blade has been a lead cheerleader for the left-leaning state and local policies and politicians that have decimated Toledo families, the economy and community.

Read more about the COAST visit to Toledo here.

Northern Kentucky Anti-tax Group Digs In

Organizers of the campaign to defeat a parks tax in Boone County have decided to continue their organization against expanded government and higher taxes in northern Kentucky. Read the Kentucky Enquirer story on the organization here. For more information on the Kentucky group, contact COASTer Mike Moreland at (859) 816-1314 or

Now, a Government-paid Cell Phone

A new fundamental right to tax dollars emerges.

We know it sounds inconceivable, but a new government program now assures those on the public dole the right to a taxpayer-funded cell phone. We are not kidding. Read about it here.

Charlie Norman Appointed Cheviot Treasurer

We salute COASTer, and former Cheviot City Councilman, Charlie Norman, who has been appointed Cheviot Treasurer by Republican precinct executives. He replaces Paul Dorenkemper who is retiring after more than four decades of service.

"It's an honor to follow one of this city's most distinguished public servants," he said, "Paul's dedication to Cheviot is truly exemplary."

Norman served on city council from 2002 through 2007, and will now serve as Treasurer through the remainder of Dorenkemper's term which expires Dec. 31. He will then decide whether to run for reelection this November.

While a councilman, Charlie chaired the Finance and Building & Annexation Committees, and spearheaded efforts to combat nuisance properties.

He was sworn in as City Treasurer on Jan. 6th.

"I'm eager to get to work managing the city's finances," he said, "These are challenging financial times, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on council and in the administration over the next year to make sure the city is on solid financial ground."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

COAST, Americans for Prosperity take red light camera ban to Toledo

Organizing meeting is Monday, January 12 at 7 PM at Point Place Branch Library

COAST and Americans for Prosperity-Ohio, two partners in the coalition that enacted a ban on red light and speeding cameras in Cincinnati in 2008, are taking their campaign to Toledo this year. Their goal is to place on the November 2009 ballot a Charter Amendment banning red light and speeding cameras in that city.

The groups will be hosting an organizing meeting for the 2009 campaign on Monday, January 12, 2009 at the Point Place Branch Library, 2727 117th St. Toledo 43611 at 7:00 PM. Members of the public are invited to join the assemblage to help place the initiative on the ballot.

Throughout the spring and summer, volunteers in Toledo will be collecting the 7,000 valid signatures to place the issue before the voters. The total number of signatures needed, to account for bad and invalid signatures, will be approximately 14,000.

In 2008, volunteers from a broad-based coalition in Cincinnati collected more than 14,000 signatures to place the ban in the Cincinnati City Charter, and in November that ban was enacted into the Cincinnati City Charter. The Cincinnati coalition included representatives from the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP, the Southwest Ohio Green Party and the Ohio Libertarian Party. The group later was joined by the Hamilton County Republican Party, civic clubs and candidates from both political parties. The same groups will be invited to join the Toledo effort.

COAST hopes to help start brushfires for liberty throughout Ohio,” said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd. “Our experience is that, when given the chance to limit the encroachment of government interference in our lives, people grasp for liberty every time. The Toledo initiative brings hope for freedom to the oppressed citizens of northwest Ohio.

All Toledo-area residents are invited to join COAST and AFP-Ohio at the organizing meeting.